Dodge Expands 2011 Durango Lineup with Sporty Heat Trim
With an overwhelming number of full-size crossover SUVs offered today, Dodge hopes to distinguish its 2011 Durango with a new trim level called Heat. The Durango -- also available in trims called Express, Crew, R/T, CrewLux, and Citadel -- is a seven-passenger crossover that comes in rear- and all-wheel-drive forms. That's in contrast to most of the Durango's front-wheel-drive based competitors, which also don't feature an optional V-8 engine. The 2011 Dodge Durango Heat makes the most of the crossover's inherent fun-to-drive characteristics with a few careful tweaks. What doesn't change is the Pentastar V-6 engine also found in Chrysler products like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Avenger. In the Durango Heat, the 3.6-liter V-6 engine makes 295 horsepower at 6350 rpm (5 horsepower more than other trims) and 260 pound-feet of torque at 4500 rpm. Like all other 2011 Durangos, a five-speed automatic is the only available transmission.Only the most dedicated enthusiasts are likely to consider the Durango Heat, which removes the third row of seating to reduce weight. Special 20-inch wheels, a 20-mm lower ride height, a tuned dual exhaust, and special suspension tuning make this trim more substantial than just a couple of badges. Rear-wheel drive is standard on the Durango Heat, which carries a starting price of $31,145. Add $2000 for all-wheel drive. Those who don't want or can't afford the V-8 Durango R/T might like the Durango Heat's color-matched body kit, fog lights, tweaked grille, and dark headlight surrounds. Fuel economy of the 2011 Durango Heat matches other V-6 models at 16/23 mpg city/highway with rear-wheel drive and 16/22 mpg using all-wheel drive. The few buyers who will sacrifice a third row of seating for a slightly more nimble SUV can get a Durango Heat in the spring of 2011. by Zach Gale
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